AFFIRM’S Guide to Writing an Effective Call-to-Action

From Netflix’s new subscriber call-to-action, “Join Free for a Month,” to Uber’s “Start Riding with Uber,” marketing call-to-action (CTA) statements clearly define the next step a customer needs to take to engage with a brand. CTA statements may seem simple on the surface but the most successful ones are carefully worded to consider the intended audience’s desires, interests, habits, and potential obstacles, all to make it easy for them to do what the marketer asks them to. This is no easy feat – And we’re here to help you if you’re struggling to write the perfect call-to-action to get your audience to engage.

Use Persuasive, Concise Language

Keeping things concise and persuasive is key for breaking through the noise. It’s important to persuade people to follow your CTA in as few words as possible to make it easy for them to take the recommended action. One trick that copywriters use is building an incentive into a call-to-action statement. For example, if you are marketing a new piece of equipment available for rental through your business, you can incentivize potential customers to use the product and eventually opt in by giving them a CTA like the following:

  • Get your first month free when you rent in the next 30 days!
  • Save 15% when you rent this month!

Creating an incentive entices the audience to to do what you’re asking and creates a sense of urgency. Plus, in the case of the rental example, once the audience opts in to renting the product from you, they’re more likely to keep using it because of the initial positive experience. A little persuasion can go a long way towards creating a successful call-to-action statement.

Use Words that Inspire Enthusiasm

Would you click on an ad to learn more if you didn’t feel inspired to do so? Chances are you wouldn’t, and the same goes for any audience. Researching your audience to find out more about what they care about will have a huge impact on whether the CTA you write will be successful. As an example, we created a strategic campaign for AFFIRM client Henry Vilas Zoo with the following goals:

  • Inspire people to return to the zoo after closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Inspire people to support the zoo financially through donations.

We used a several different call-to-action statements that fed into the strategic messaging of the campaign and the actions we wanted our audience to take. Paired with images featuring the adorable animals of the zoo it made for a very persuasive combo. Some of the CTA statements included:

  • The zoo needs help taking care of itself and its animal residents
  • Learn more about the re-opening and how you can help: www.henryvilaszoo.gov
  • Please revisit and help us reopen

By appealing to the hearts of zoo-goers and creating a sense of urgency around supporting the animals that call the zoo home, we were able to create a powerful call-to-action that made for a successful campaign. Be sure to always keep in mind the audience you are going for and what will inspire them to rally around your business.

Keep it Low Risk for Your Audience

Your CTA will work better when it requires a low level of initial commitment from your audience. Let’s think about the equipment rental example from earlier. One way you could frame the call-to-action so it’s lower risk could be:

  • Get your first month free when you rent in the next 30 days! Cancel your subscription at any time.

By adding this secondary call-to-action, you let your audience know that there is no risk and no commitment expected when they sign up. Try to anticipate what your audience’s fears may be about taking your proposed CTA before putting it out into the world and create a secondary call-to-action to let them know that there is no reason not to engage.

Make it Easy to Take the Next Action

Whether it’s entering an email address or clicking to view more information about a product, service, or program on your website, the next step your audience needs to take should be easy to ensure that they don’t back out. The easier your call-to-action is to understand and act on will help decide whether it is successful. For example, you could use the following CTA’s for email signups:

  • Enter your email to gain access today
  • Enter your email for exclusive access

These call-to-action statements are easy to understand for people scrolling by online and use incentives to get them to take the desired action. We encourage you to get creative when writing your call-to-action, but to never forget that the goal is to leave nothing standing in the way of the audience taking the action you want them to.

Writing a call-to-action may seem easy, but without a strategic approach to developing one, you may find the performance of your marketing effort to be less than successful. Are you planning your next strategic campaign and looking to maximize your results? We have a full team of marketing experts at AFFIRM who know what it takes to create inspiring call-to-action statements that inspire audiences to change their behaviors. Please contact AFFIRM President Danny Mager at dmager@affirmagency.com to get in touch and start the conversation about how we can support your upcoming efforts.

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Contact our President, Danny Mager to learn how we can deliver results for your organization. No matter where you're at in your decision-making process, we can help you get the ball rolling.

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